It’s more common than people would assume to laugh in uncomfortable situations. Laughing is a defense mechanism; according to the BBC, we laugh because we expect pain. So, please don’t think something is wrong with you because you laughed when you shouldn’t have (and please don’t waste everyone’s time by saying, “I’m such a freak,” when you laugh because you’re not and nobody cares).
But what happens when everyone’s laughing and no one can tell if the laughs stem from true humor or because they don’t know what else to do?
That’s how playing Asmadi Games’s We Didn’t Playtest This at All feels.
As the title would suggest, this game is random, fast, and completely ridiculous. Everyone is dealt two cards, someone at random is selected to go first, and then they draw a card and pick between three cards what their action is going to be.
The objective is to win, and as soon as someone wins, everyone else loses. There are ways for players to lose one at a time, and there’s even a card that says everyone who is still in play wins.
There’s a card that says, “If you play this card, you lose. No, really,” and there’s a card that allows someone to win immediately as long as everyone else playing is visibly wearing blue.
Each round lasts about one to five minutes, so most of this game consists of playing again, and the cards are random enough to ensure that something different happens each time.
Sounds fun, right?
Honestly, it’s hard to tell. Maybe if everyone was drunk, the rounds would last longer, and people would feel more of a sense of accomplishment when they won because it took so long to get there (as playing games with drunk people often entails being there for a long time). As it stands — as a sober party game — We Didn’t Playtest This at All might not be as fun as the box makes it out to be (though the intrigue of the banana sets the bar high).
Most people like to play games they have an opportunity to win. And though the objective of this game is to win, if someone can just draw a card that lets them win as long as they’re a girl and everyone else playing is a boy, it takes out the competition and motivation to keep winning.
Doubtless as it may appear with some, people do like to work and feel a sense of accomplishment from their hard work paying off.
And though the randomness of this game is appealing at first, the more times someone plays this game, the more they’ll realize that their win relies on the luck of the draw.
Since this game is entirely made up of playing over and over, the randomness stops being so random, and players start to wish that they had a drink in their hand so that something more exciting than rock-paper-scissors would happen.
It’s hard to say if We Didn’t Playtest This at All is or isn’t fun. People could be laughing because it’s funny, or they could be laughing because the shock value of someone just losing because they said the word “you” threw them through a loop.
And can a game really be fun if you don’t know why you’re laughing?